IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF TIMOTHY MICHAEL RAMUNDO AND LISA MARY RAMUNDO Upon the Petition of TIMOTHY MICHAEL RAMUNDO, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning LISA MARY RAMUNDO, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Mary E.
spouses appeal and cross-appeal the district court's
reduction of the husband's alimony payments.
Allison M. Heffern and Kerry A. Finley of Shuttleworth &
Ingersoll, PLC, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.
D. Fisher and Frank J. Nidey of Nidey Erdahl Fisher
Pilkington & Meier, PLC, Cedar Rapids, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
and Lisa Ramundo both challenge a modification to their 2017
dissolution decree decreasing Timothy's monthly spousal
support obligation from $4000 to $2750. Timothy asserts
changes in the parties' incomes-his decrease and her
increase-warrant a total elimination or a more substantial
reduction in his alimony payments to Lisa. Lisa
cross-appeals, arguing the district court erred in finding
her salary increase was a substantial change in circumstances
and in reducing the payments. Both parties request appellate
Lisa's move to full-time employment (and the tripling of
her salary) constitutes a substantial change in
circumstances, and considering other relevant factors, we
affirm the district court's decision to reduce the
Facts and Prior Proceedings
and Lisa married in 1992 and divorced after twenty-four years
of marriage. At the time of the divorce in 2017, Timothy was
fifty-one and Lisa was forty-eight years old. They have three
children. Lisa is a civil engineer but, for most of the
marriage, she stayed home with the children. Timothy's
work in financial services took the family to several
locations across the country: New York, North Carolina,
Florida, and then Iowa.
in Iowa, the parties filed for dissolution of their marriage.
Before the decree issued, Timothy informed Lisa and the
district court he would soon lose his job due to a company
merger. Timothy committed to seeking comparable work but
predicted his salary would be substantially lower. At the
time of the dissolution, his future salary was unknown. Lisa
moved to Slingerlands, New York, and worked part-time as a
civil engineer, earning around $32, 000.
the dissolution went to trial, Timothy and Lisa reached an
agreement on all aspects of the property division, child
custody, and awards of child and spousal support. The court
approved and adopted all terms of their stipulation. The
parties agreed to joint custody of the children, with Lisa
retaining physical care and Timothy exercising visitation.
Timothy agreed to pay Lisa $4000 per month in child support
with graduated reductions as the children left Lisa's
home. The parties acknowledged the amount was an "upward
deviation" from the Iowa Child Support Guidelines. The
departure related to Lisa's move from Iowa to upstate New
York where "the cost of living is substantially
higher" and was "part of the parties' overall
settlement of property and support issues."
also agreed to pay Lisa spousal support of $4000 per month
until the parties' middle child graduated from high
school. Then Timothy would pay $3000 per month until the
youngest child graduated from high school, at which point the
obligation would terminate. Thus, Lisa would receive some
amount of spousal support until 2028 when she reaches
fifty-eight years old.
the property division, both parties came out of the marriage
with assets of about $600, 000.
close of the stipulation, the parties stated, "This
Agreement constitutes the entire understanding of Timothy and
Lisa and there have been no representations or warranties
other than those expressly herein set forth."
court dissolved the Ramundos' marriage in January 2017.
Five months later, Timothy filed for modification: he had
been laid off, his new job required relocation to Charlotte,
North Carolina, and it paid less than his old job. Timothy
estimated his new salary with bonuses at $206, 004. Also
since the divorce, Timothy married his girlfriend, Kendis,
and they purchased a house in Charlotte for $1, 340, 000. At
the hearing, Timothy described the house as an investment and
explained the space ...